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Georg Seil and Towers Perrin lose consultants

GERMANY- Georg Seil, chief executive of the eponymous German investment consultancy, has confirmed that two of his senior consultants, including a team leader, are leaving.

Seil said Ulrich Wittmann and Tilo Neubert, the team leader, would leave by May 1. "We have, however, already found replacements for the two who have left. This means that we will maintain our staff of six consultants, including myself," Seil told IPE from Wiesbaden.

IPE has learned that Wittmann will join the investment consulting team of Heissmann, one of Germany's biggest actuarial and pensions advising firms.

Heissmann's investment consulting team is led by Bernd Haferstock, who was not immediately available for further comment.

Launched in May 1997, Georg Seil Consulting (GSC) is one of the smaller German consultants. According to Seil, GSC has standing mandates from institutional clients who, together, have €10bn in assets.

In terms of assets under advisement, bigger German consultants are Faros, a Frankfurt house launched in 2003, RMC, Alpha Portfolio Advisors and Feri Institutional Advisors, which claims market leadership.

But Seil said consolidation among German consultancies is very much on the cards. "From a long-term perspective, we, with six consultants are too small," he said.

"But so are Faros, with five consultants; FondsConsult with four; Heissmann with five; and Alpha with seven. In order to survive long-term, all of us will have to think about consolidating our former partnerships. This is precisely what I'm doing," Seil added.

In September 2005, GSC and PPCmetrics, a big Swiss consultancy, ended a two-year joint venture after failing to agree on future strategy and services for the German market.

In January 2006, though, PPCmetrics' rival, Complementa entered the German market by acquiring the investment consulting arm of FondsConsult. That business is led by Joachim Meyer.
 
Separately, IPE has learned that Towers Perrin last month ousted its corporate pension team in Frankfurt to make room for that of Rauser, a much smaller German consultancy it acquired in September 2005. The team, according to sources familiar with events, consisted of three or four members.

"The team was told that henceforth investment and pensions consulting would be based in Reutlingen (Rauser's base) while benefits consulting would be in Frankfurt," the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said. "It smacked of a reverse takeover (of Towers Perrin by Rauser)."

A spokesman for Towers Perrin declined to comment.

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